Now I know

For years I used to wonder why the traffic and driving in Los Angeles was so bad.

I know the answer now.

It’s San Diego drivers visiting Los Angeles!

I’ve come to the conclusion that San Diego is actually a training ground for Pace Car drivers.

Yes You read that right. All Pace Car drivers must come from San Diego. This is the only place I’ve ever been where consistently drivers accelerate or decelerate to maintain a rolling road block.

At first I thought the people were playing games but it’s not gamesmanship, it’s the way these people normally drive!

I’ve actually sat in an honest to god traffic jam here, that was caused by nothing more than two 18-wheelers, one gardening truck, an RV and a couple idiots in cars.

10 miles of open road ahead, and bumper to freaking bumper traffic stuck behind them. And YET, not one of these morons would accelerate change lanes and let other people by.

This place appears to be the training ground for NASCAR pace drivers.  This wouldn’t be that big an issue except that there isn’t a need for this many pace-cars.

But then there’s the demolition driver wannabes. These are the folks that exit a freeway, make a right and cross 4 lanes of traffic to sit in the center lane instead of continuing their insane driving where at least they’d get the hell out of the way. But noooo, these folks after all the craziness are driving at 25 miles pers hour when the rest of traffic is doing 55.

This also explains why most cars in San Diego have dents and dings.

I think a great business investment in this area would be a body shop. But given all the regulations on paint, and prepping materials for doing bodywork, you’d probably go broke paying off the inspectors.

First day back to work.

Pain killers at 1/2 dose get me through the day.

Gonna try sleeping without the muscle relaxers tonight. But got the heating pad against my lower back right now.

Feeling pretty damn old… I used to be able to shake stuff like this off with no effort. As someone I knew once said… Time is the predator that stalks us all.

Been looking at replacement vehicles, just in case Wolf can’t be repaired.

That’s gonna be pricey, BMW or not. But I’m trying to keep a positive attitude that something will work out.

Maybe a 4 door and doing Uber. I’d have to get my work schedule changed but it might be a way to bridge the gap. Alternatively, maybe it’s time for a life of crime!!!!

So that’s the report for today.

Drugs!

Day 5 after the accident. The Insurance company is still waiting for the police report. The woman who ran the light is claiming that it was I, not her that ran the light.

I did the obligatory recorded statement for the insurance company yesterday, recording my account of the accident. My car is supposedly heading to the reapair facility in Riverside for it’s assessment, still don’t know if it’s totaled or not.

I’ve been looking into replacement vehicles and unless my insurance company is really on the ball, I suspect I’m going to be driving a rust bucket from the 1940s. 

Great!

On the plus side, It may mean that nobody will mess with me on the road. On the negative side, I’ll have to deal with inevitable car repairs over and over again.

But being on pain killers isn’t all bad. At least I’m not hurting so bad I can’t see straight. 

Been thinking about just using the bike, but right now I don’t have the strength to get it off the center stand. We’re not even going to talk about the decreased reaction time or balance issues that the drugs are causing.

Yup, I’m going to need a car. Right now I have a rental provided by the insurance company, but that’s a time limited option.

I’ve come to the conclusion that San Diego is not for me, and it’s not been a good year. I’ll chalk that up along with other mistakes I’ve made in my life and now it’s about figuring out how to move on. 

As you might be able to tell, the drugs are interfering a bit with my thought processes. I’m kind of random in my thinking.

It’s funny, after the accident it’s been hard to think. I’m not sure what’s causing that. It could just be stress, the doctor seems to think that I’m going to be alright but it’s weird for me to be unable to just think straight.

I’m at my house under the carful watch of the dog. He knows something is up and is checking on me regularly. Nice to know I’m important in someone’s view. 

I’ve decided I’m going to take tomorrow off. That allows me to not have to sit in Friday traffic to get to Escondido. It also allows me to have another day of rest. 

Unfortunately, it means that I’ll be dinged again for taking a day off, even though I’ve explained what’s going on. But hey, they have a Zero Tolerance policy. So perfection is all that is acceptable.

I had to laugh yesterday because when I finally got ahold of someone in HR one of the first questions they asked was to determine if I’d been in the accident on company business. Yeah, I get it but really? You’re concerned about limiting your liability when an employee is just trying to find out what the procedure is to take a couple of days off after being injured? God! What cold blooded people. 

I think that’s one of the biggest things we’ve lost, in our country. Humanity! Yeah we’ll bitch and wail about someone in another country being mistreated, but we have no compassion or kindness for the people in our own country who deal with really tough issues every day. I know… Let’a blame Trump

I saw that LAPride is going on this weekend, and they’re going to have some kind of rally to protest the inequity they perceive with the new pres. I can’t understand what the hell they’re talking about. Nothing has really changed, this president is like the old president. Nothing new.

I was watching the James Comey testimony yesterday. A lot of it sounded like a rehash of all that had gone before. I did have one take-away though. Comey was documenting ever encounter with President Trump. I think that’s a good idea for me to implement with my boss… I don’t trust him any more than Comey trusted Trump.

Enough of my ramblings… Just figured I’d update what’s going on.

That was Painful!

I’ve got my car back. It’s running pretty well and for the price I paid it should be.

On the plus side, the work they did is warranted for 2 years. I guess that’s worth it.

There are still issues that need to be tended to. But for the time being, I’ll treat my Wolf with respect and kindness and hopefully he’ll do the same for me.

Mostly it’s sensors, to be expected since they’re all 9 years old. 

But there is the concern I have over the clutch. It’s showing signs of it’s age, and should be taken care of as soon as it’s financially possible. While I like the neat new features of the new BMWs. I’d kinda like to get another 8 years or so out of my current vehicle.

Unless something fantastic happens like a new job, that actually pays.

I losing ground financially. The longer I’m in this bind the closer I am to going down the drain. I’ve been paying off the cards, and this is a huge setback.

The company paying only twice a month means that Summer is very cash lean right when I really need to have the cash. They’ve not allowing overtime anymore and that too is putting a squeeze on the employees. 

Rent just went up on the apartment so there’s that too.

I know I need to do something to make things better, but I’m not sure exactly what the shape of that change is, could, or should be.

Gotta keep working on it.

Bad News (Maybe REALLY Bad News)

So heading back to the apartment on Friday. I’m cruising along and everything is cool. I come to the usual spot on the freeway where the traffic becomes bumper to bumper and crawls at 5 MPH for 11 miles. (Sigh)

I’ve been creeping along for about 4 minutes and my car says Warning you’re overheating. Drive moderately to the nearest service facility. There’s nothing moderate about bumper to bumper traffic. So I pull over to the emergency lane, then start asking the car diagnostics what’s up? The oil Temp is normal, so what’s going on? Then the diagnostics said turn the engine off.

OK! Click! 

Now what do I do? Called the nearest BMW dealership. They’re open until 7:00. Good. Called AAA requested a flatbed tow truck. The Driver was awesome  professional and very kind. He got me to the dealership with my car with 15 minutes to spare. The dealership had my paperwork ready, and they provided me with a rental car. All of this was Friday before a holiday weekend and it was after 5 in the afternoon. 

So while I still don’t know what happened to my car, I’m in a nice Hybrid 330.

First time I’ve driven a Hybrid. If’ es ridden in them and generally haven’t been impressed. But I gotta say I’m impressed with this loaner. It’s pretty quick off the line, seems to have ample “legs” and is very nice and comfortable to drive. I have to listen to hear the engine starting and stopping.

So while I’m worried about my car, at least the fear and trepidation is softened by a really impressive car.

The coolant demon wasn’t done with me though.

Saturday morning, on my way to work in the loaner car… The onboard diagnostics posted a “Coolant needs to be topped off” message on the nice wide dash display. 

I just laughed, what are the odds that in two days I’d have two different vehicles warn me about reading or related issues? A quick call to the dealership, asking them if they’d like me to call BMW Assist or take it to a local dealership for the top off resulted in profuse apologies and the recommendation for me to just add water to the reservoir. “We’ll take care of the issue when it comes back to us…”

They thanked me for paying attention and asking them how they wanted to handle the issue.

I gave the car 1.5 liters of Sparkletts  and the reservoir read MAX. The car is happy and so am I.

Hopefully I’ll know how bad my car is on Tuesday, and have an estimate of when I’ll get it back.

Keep your fingers crossed for me and please pray to whatever deity you think might be able to keep the repair costs down.

———————- Update ————————-

5/31/2017

WOW!

This is super expensive!

(sigh) Oh well, it’s still cheaper than having to make payments on a new vehicle.

I’ve never handled no-win situations well

But I’m nonetheless sitting here feeling pretty proud of myself about the current no-win situation I find myself in.

I recently got reassigned to a new boss. I’d heard rumor and innuendo about him. But I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. I’m glad I did, but he proved himself to be exactly what the rumors said he was.

No real surprise there.

He doesn’t like me much, again no big deal. I can work for someone dutifully and still wish to see them disembowelled slowly with one of those inquisition torture thingys. I wouldn’t actively cause someone like that harm, unless they messed with me first. But as long as we managed to have mutual respect for each other things would be fine.

However, once that line is crossed… all bets are off.

Well, the new boss has been working very hard at crossing that line.

Thus far I’ve been pretty mellow.

The other day he hauled me into an office and told me that my work wasn’t up to par. I thought, “OK, perhaps that’s true,” I also thought “Of course, had you bothered to tell me what your expectations were then perhaps we’d be further along here.”

Anyway, he blathered on and on, I sort of tuned him out… Until he said something about a personal improvement plan.  In the corporate world such plans are shorthand for You’re SCREWED bucko.

Now, he had my complete attention.

What he was talking about is that I’ve been doing my job. But he’s of the philosophy that I should be answer only one question per phone call then moving on to the next phone call. I was of the impression that we were supposed to actually Help.

Apparently, I was incorrect.

As I listened to the remainder of his blathering, deep inside me there was a stirring. My rage monster shifted and started to wake up. “Uh Oh,” I thought. “Gotta stop that from happening.”  To maintain my calm I thought about the fact that less than 24 hours earlier I’d signed a lease on the apartment. 

That’s gonna cost a pretty penny to break,” I realized. I also thought about the fact that twenty four hours earlier, and I’d simply have stood up and said, “FUCK YOU With broken glass” then left the building. I’d have given notice at my apartment and allowed my rage to burn itself out loading a U-Haul and returned to the mountains and my home, calmed down and turned the job search into a full time job.

I found out today, that a similar event happened on Monday. Another person was in a similar situation, like me, he thought he was doing a good job, helping people. But the management was displeased that he wasn’t blowing our clients off and making them call back multiple times in a day for the same problem.

In his case, he told the management, ” This meeting is over.” 

He got up over their objections and threats, then gathered his stuff and walked out.

Oh if only I hadn’t signed that lease, it would have made one hell of a statement to have two people walk out at the same time for the same reasons. 

The impending Exodus might be amusing to watch while I’m waiting for my ship to come in.

I’m smart enough to play the game, I’m enough of a chameleon to pull it off, and I’m amoral enough to not feel guilty about being disingenuous. 

I can do this… For a while longer.